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AJ Bell interim profit jumps as customer numbers grow

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Thursday 21 May 2020

AJ Bell interim profit jumps as customer numbers grow

(Sharecast News) - FTSE 250 investment platform AJ Bell reported a jump in interim profit on Thursday and held its dividend as customer numbers grew.
In the six months to the end of March, pre-tax profit rose 28% to £22.7m on revenue of £60.9m, up 22% on the same period a year ago. Total customer numbers increased by a record 30,113 to 262,179, rising 22% over the last 12 months and 13% in the first half.

Net inflows grew to £2.1bn from £1.8bn in the first half of 2019, driven by platform net inflows of £2.5bn, up from £2.1bn.

Total assets under administration edged up 1% over the last year, closing at £48.3bn, but assets under management fell 8% during the period "due to adverse market and other movements".

Chief executive officer Andy Bell said: "In light of this strong financial performance, the board has declared an interim dividend of 1.50 pence per share. The board recognises the importance that our investors place on AJ Bell's progressive dividend history and reaffirms our ongoing commitment to this and our stated dividend policy for future dividend distributions."

The dividend was in line with the previous year.

Bell added: "The effects of the Covid-19 crisis are likely to be felt for a long time, although the precise impact it will have on markets, investor sentiment and economic policy is hard to predict. However, we have operated profitably during periods of market volatility and low interest rates before and our business model has proved very resilient. The long-term growth drivers of the platform market remain in place and our strong capital position, coupled with a buoyant trading performance mean the outlook for the future of the business remains positive."

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